Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Eduardo Salazar to a Minor League contract and assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The addition of Salazar and re-signing Ricky Vanasco are the Dodgers’ first moves of free agency thus far.
Salazar joins the Dodgers after spending the past seven years in the Cincinnati Reds organization. The right-hander made his MLB debut this year but was designated for assignment in August and outrighted off the Reds’ 40-man roster.
Like Vanasco did, Salazar elected Minor League free agency after the 2023 season. However, he did not sign a Major League deal and therefore is not on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster that has 39 players leading into up to the 5 p.m. PT deadline on Friday to tender a contract to arbitration-eligible players.
Salazar went 1-0 with an 8.03 ERA and 1.70 WHIP while appearing in eight games for the Reds this past season. He only had five strikeouts and issued five walks in addition to hitting four batters over 12.1 innings pitched in those relief appearances.
Two of Salazar’s appearances were against the Dodgers, during which he completed a combined three scoreless innings. Salazar’s lone win was against L.A. on June 6.
During his Minor League career, the 25-year-old is a lifetime 23-25 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. However, 2023 required a significant adjustment for Salazar as it was his first time exclusively pitching out of the bullpen after being a starter throughout his career.
Moreover, Salazar was dominant to begin the year with Double-A Chattanooga, where he sported a 0.68 ERA and 0.83 WHIP, collecting 22 strikeouts across 22.1 innings pitched over eight games. That success continued after a promotion to Triple-A Louisville, albeit for only three appearances before Salazar joined the Reds.
He then struggled at the Triple-A level following two separate stints with the Reds. Overall with the Louisville Bats, Salazar was 1-1 with a 9.09 ERA and 2.24 WHIP in 27 games.
How Eduardo Salazar fits with Dodgers
Salazar figures to be a depth option for the Dodgers bullpen and spend the bulk of the 2024 season with Oklahoma City. The organization has a history of helping pitchers refine themselves and lead to improved results, which likely was part of the decision-making to sign Salazar.
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